The Fighter stars Mark Wahlberg as “Irish” Mickey Ward and Christian Bale as Dicky Eklund in a gripping and brilliantly told film based on a true story about the two boxing brothers in the 1980′s and Mickey Ward’s trainer, Dicky Eklund who’s a suffering junkie living in the past.

Being the self proclaimed local hero – Dicky Eklund (Bale), who knocked down the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard many years earlier, is now a full time junkie living the low life in his home town of Lowell and being filmed by a documentary crew about his big comeback to the ring. He is also the trainer to his younger brother, Mickey Ward (different fathers), who is in his prime but as well as being trained by a crack addict, is managed by his mother (Melissa Leo) who refuses to acknowldge Dicky’s drug habits and the failure he has become.
The Fighter Mark Wahlberg Christian Bale review PlayEject
From the cover or trailers you might be expecting some sort of modern-day Rocky with exaggerated fight scenes and cheesey dialogue. In fact the boxing is more of a support to the context of a well-told film and the majority of The Fighter is a combination of the downfall of one-time local hero and a romance and family feud for the younger sibling.

Irish Mickey Ward is forced to face the conflict of standing by your family and putting your trust in them when you can see its not going well over the choice of non-family members who are clear headed and better suited to looking after him. Ward’s girlfriend Charlotte (Amy Adams) is the main source of support for him and stands up to the rest of the family for what she believes is the best for Mickey especially when Dicky Eklund is sent to prison and video documentary of his comeback turns out to be a documentary about a small town with crack addicts.

Christian Bale is great as the washed-up junkie and can tell how much weight he lost for the role. Its not until the end credits start rolling and footage of the two real life brothers are talking that you realise just how good an actor and performance Bale has given throughout.
The Fighter Mark Wahlberg Amy Adams review PlayEject
Mark Wahlberg plays the quieter and more level-headed member of the family who is constantly put into the shadow by Alice (his mother) and not given the support he needs from the management side of things. Something that is proven when he is thrown into a last minute fight against a 20lb heavier opponent who beats down hard on Mickey – all because Alice and Dicky want to get paid.

Exactly how much of The Fighter is true and how much is for the film isn’t clear but in all honesty, its so good that it really shouldn’t matter – both characters can be related to and their relationship on screen is so strong that it is hard not to feel attached to them.

The Fighter is one of the greatest films of 2010 and an excellent performance from all the cast – definitely one to watch, boxing fans or not.

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